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News » Stallworth charged in driving death


Stallworth charged in driving death


Stallworth charged in driving death
Browns wide receiver Dont? Stallworth was charged Wednesday afternoon with DUI manslaughter by prosecutors in Florida, the Miami-Dade Office of the State Attorney said.


Prosecutors said the Football player was driving drunk at 7:17 a.m. March 14 when he struck and killed pedestrian Mario Reyes, 59, in Miami Beach. The toxicology report showed that Stallworth's blood-alcohol level was .126, which is above Florida's legal limit of 0.08.

Stallworth, 28, is expected to surrender this morning in front of Circuit Judge Dennis Murphy and then be released on bond, which will be set at $200,000. He is expected to return to Cleveland to continue to work out in the Browns' off-season program. His arraignment is April 23.

DUI manslaughter is a second-degree felony that carries a minimum of four years to a maximum of 15 years in prison in a conviction.

Stallworth's attorney, Chris Lyons, declined to comment.

The Browns issued this statement Wednesday evening: "The charges levied against Dont? Stallworth are very serious and we are disappointed he has put himself in this position."

"We are saddened by the circumstances that have taken place and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Mario Reyes. We have been in communication with [NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell], who is reviewing the situation under league policies, and we will withhold further comment at this time," the statement concluded.

The NFL also issued a statement from Greg Aiello, the league's senior vice president of public relations: "As the State Attorney has said, this was a tragic accident that raises serious issues and we join all those who have expressed their sympathies to the Reyes family. We will continue to monitor the case and review it under our conduct and substance abuse policies."

Besides a possible conviction, Stallworth faces a possible fine, suspension or banishment from the league under terms of the NFL conduct policy. He also will be entered into the league's substance-abuse program.

Details of Stallworth's condition and whereabouts were outlined in an arrest warrant filed by Miami Beach police detective Kevin Millan.

According to the affidavit,

Stallworth was drinking at the upscale Club Liv at the Fontaine-

bleau Hotel in Miami Beach before returning to a home in Miami at 6:18 a.m. The warrant didn't specify whether or not the home was one of Stallworth's three residences in the Miami area.

About an hour later, Stall-

worth drove his Bentley on the MacArthur Causeway, where he struck and killed Reyes, the affidavit stated. The causeway connects Miami and Miami Beach. Reyes sustained critical head, chest and abdominal injuries, and died a short time later at Jackson Memorial Hospital's trauma center.

Stallworth was traveling 50 mph in a 40 mph zone, according to a crash report.

When officers arrived at the scene, Stallworth was standing outside his car and told them, "I hit the man lying in the road." One officer reported he smelled alcohol on Stallworth's breath and that his eyes looked "bloodshot and watery."

A blood sample was taken from Stallworth at the scene and a field-sobriety test, part of which appears on a video obtained by the Miami Herald, was conducted. The lab at the University of Miami revealed his blood-alcohol level was .126.

Later at the police station, Stallworth told detectives he had time "to honk his horn and flash his headlights" to alert Reyes, who was crossing the street to catch a bus after working the night shift as a crane operator. Reyes, who was about 20 feet from a crosswalk, is survived by his wife, Catalina, and the couple's 15-year-old daughter, Daniela.

While out on bond, Stallworth cannot have alcohol or drugs. He must also submit to random testing through the NFL's substance-abuse program and provide results to the court.

He will be permitted to live in both Ohio and Florida, but must notify authorities 24 hours before traveling between the two jurisdictions. He's not permitted to drive and will have a curfew from midnight to 6 a.m. He's also prohibited from having contact with members of the Reyes family.

Stallworth received a $4.5 million bonus the day before the accident, but the Browns might be able to recoup all or part of the money because of forfeiture language in the contract.

A few days after the accident, Stallworth issued a statement through the Browns that said: "My family and I are grief-stricken over the tragic accident which occurred Saturday on Miami Beach where Mario Reyes sadly lost his life. My thoughts and prayers are with the Reyes family during this incredibly difficult time."

Florida State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a release: "This is a terrible tragedy for the Reyes family and we have been in close contact with them throughout this entire investigative process. Whenever a deadly accident occurs and a driver is impaired, families suffer. I can only repeat this message over and over: If you are going to drink, don't drive. Be responsible or let someone else do the driving. The key to avoiding tragedy may be what you do with the car key you hold in your hand."

BOX

Stallworth's charges

Browns receiver Dont? Stallworth is charged with DUI manslaughter, a second-degree felony, which would lead to a four-year minimum mandatory prison sentence with a potential of up to 15 years if he is convicted under Florida law, according to the Miami-Dade Office of the State Attorney.

Stallworth is expected to surrender in court today.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 3, 2009

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